The fight to defeat COVID-19 is one that will only be won together.
The Miami HEAT store and Refried Apparel are partnering together to turn $100k in unsold jerseys into over 7,000 masks to be donated to local medical facilities in need.
"I remembered we were sitting on some former players' jerseys and T-shirts and I thought to myself, 'Let's recycle these into something useful and donate them to those brave folks on the front lines of this pandemic,'" said Andy Montero, Vice President of Retail Business & Development for the Miami HEAT. "We're stuck in our houses, but I'm so happy we are finding ways to help!"
Refried Apparel is an organization that upcycles unused/unsold clothing into new products. Upcycling is a process that converts materials into new products that provide better environmental value. Unlike recycling – which requires energy to process materials from one form to another – upcycling requires virtually zero energy.
“All of us at Refried Apparel are inspired by the many organizations banding together in the battle against COVID-19, including the Miami HEAT, which jumped into action to support local hospitals and first responders," said Mark Litos, Co-Founder of Refried Apparel based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. "We are proud to be part of the effort to help protect our frontline heroes for their selfless services and great sacrifices.”
The 2-ply masks are made from 100% cotton and cotton blend tee shirts which provide filtration and particle capture as well as breathability. Although not as effective as surgical-grade, these masks are appreciated by medical staff, first responders, nursing home staff, and essential business during this critical shortage.
While donations of materials for the masks are going to help frontline workers and essential employees, behind the scenes, the employees at Refried Apparel are working around the clock to transform these garments. The cutters and sewers have been donating their time to this effort. However, the demand has been increasing. Your donations will help to compensate the cutters and sewers to increase capacity and provide the protection to a greater number of those in need.